Serious games and simulations operate effectively where gaming and computer technology meets instructional design and students’ needs. Instruction and learning are evolving toward the increased use of serious games and simulations in the classroom because of their ability to both teach and entertain. This evolution has increased the need for serious game developers in the educational arena, among other industries. University of Houston-Clear Lake offers a unique opportunity to help prepare you for such a career path in its Serious Games and Simulations Innovation Lab.
UH-Clear Lake’s Serious Games and Simulations Innovation Lab is an interdisciplinary graduate effort where you’ll develop serious games and simulations, leading to a final capstone experience. In the first semester, you’ll be required to take a game design course and theory course in which you’ll take the courses that will play a critical role in the capstone. You will also be required to select a specific two-year track.
Why Choose UHCL?
- Unique Opportunity in Houston: UHCL is the only university-based initiative in the Greater Houston area that collaborates with local industries and agencies to educate developers, conduct research and development, and foster innovations in the expanding educational arena of serious games and simulations.
- Local Career Accessibility: The Greater Houston Area has a rich environment of game development companies—mostly focusing on entertainment games—and considerable investment in serious game and simulations in industry, health care and government agencies.
- Valuable Gaming Knowledge: UHCL’s Serious Games and Simulations Innovation Lab provides a robust knowledge of gaming that you won’t easily find anywhere else, and the coursework provides groundwork in instructional design that you can apply to the games you develop.
- Award-winning Results: In late 2018, students of the Serious Games and Simulations Innovation Lab won a prestigious award for creating the educational game called “Code of Aegis” at the world’s largest modeling, simulation and training conference, I/ITSEC.
- Lucrative University Partnerships: UHCL maintains partnerships with reputable companies, including Tietronix Software, Inc., which readily employs UHCL students and UHCL graduates.
Code of Aegis
Code of AEGIS is a multi-platform, interactive 3D educational game designed by University of Houston-Clear Lake students, in partnership with Tietronix Software, as part of the Serious Games and Simulation Innovation Lab. It was created to encourage students in grades 6-8 to problem-solve and think critically about science, technology, engineering and math topics.
The game features an adventure-based storyline in a graphic novel format with relatable characters—all with programming, computer science aptitude, and robotics concepts. Usability testing during development, formative testing and summative testing in the classroom reinforced the learning effectiveness of the game.
In 2016 Code of Aegis was piloted in various local school districts, and the overall results from both students and teachers were very positive. The game went on to win the Student Choice Award in 2018 at the I/ITSEC Conference—the world’s largest modeling, simulation and training conference—in Orlando.